Wednesday night’s reveal of the 2024 seventh-generation Ford Mustang kicked off the Detroit Auto Show in dramatic fashion. Not only did it introduce a new, sleek evolution of the iconic pony car in a festival setting at Hart Plaza, but it reset the standard for future vehicle introductions, particularly at the North American International Auto Show.
The lead up to the reveal was more than two weeks long, with the popular The Drive Home to The Mustang Stampede bringing at least one example of each of the six generations of Mustangs “home” to Detroit, along with a camouflaged seventh-generation prototype driven by the S650 Product Development Launch Leader Marty Mosakowski. Crossing more than 3,400 miles from its start in Tacoma, the tour invited Mustang enthusiasts from all across America to drive with the group for an hour, a day, or a week. Some diehard Mustang fanatics logged 1,000 miles or more to be a part of this historic event.
Mustangs from all eras filled the parking lot at Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, for a sprawling Mustang lovefest prior to a police-led procession downtown for the reveal. Per Ford’s suggestion, many owners showed up in period costume, with the Sixties and Seventies styles most popular.
Joining the fun was the Allen family from Kansas City, Missouri. Sean Allen had owned a 1996 Mustang in college, and had been following the coverage of The Drive Home here on Hemmings. At 11 a.m. the previous day, he and his wife Caroline decided to have an adventure, and loaded up their seven kids – Israel, Carrianna, Olivia, Emily, Deborah, Sophia, and young Jackson – into their “Bustang GT” Ford Transit van, determined to catch up to our group. They arrived at 1 a.m. in Auburn, Indiana, only to find one hotel room available, prompting Sean to sleep in the van overnight. Arriving more than 750 miles later in Dearborn with their Transit playfully painted-up, the photogenic family quickly became one of the media darlings of the event.
No road trip really becomes official until you have a few hours of driving under your belt. So while Tuesday night’s cruise-in kickoff at the LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, was the official start of America’s Automotive Trust and the North American International Auto Show’s The Drive Home to The Mustang Stampede, it wasn’t until our 8 a.m. fire-drill start from Yakima that our trip began in earnest.
A contingent of Yakima-area Mustang owners had driven over the pass to the Tacoma launch party to escort us back to their home town. One of them was Captain Jeff Pfaff of the Yakima Fire Department in his white 2012 Boss 302. Captain Jeff left word with his colleagues at the Yakima Police Department, who put our hotel parking lot on their overnight patrol, allowing for a measure of comfort in our short sleep. Jeff is also a co-founder of Cars, Chrome and Coffee in Yakima, an inclusive event with emphasis on turning out young car enthusiasts. As we are finding out, passionate and helpful Mustang guys are all across this country.
Joining us on the trip is one representative of each of the six generations of Ford Mustangs, along with the yet-unreleased Gen 7 car, wearing a thick armor of skunk works camouflage vinyl and prosthetics. Designed with a fair amount of science involved, the wrap was tested at Ford’s wind tunnel at 150 mph. The mimicked porthole opera windows, a nod to the iconic 1955 Thunderbird, were just the S650 production team having some fun.
The interior of the car is cloaked as well, and none of us are allowed inside. We get it. Keeping secrets has been a problem on the Gen 7 rollout, Ford’s biggest and most anticipated in years. First, pictures of the gauge cluster and interior were caught by Dearborn paparazzi, and images of the front end hit the internet. Then, the reveal at the Detroit Auto Show as leaked. “We’ve fired five people over this,” said S650 Launch Leader Marty Mosakowski. “Three (breaches) were accidental. Some engineers had to pull over in a Kroger parking lot to gather analytics, and raised up the cloak on the dash, and pics were snapped by industry spies. Two other in-house guys purposely took photos of the front end, and were caught on camera at our facility. Two hundred and fifty engineers attended a mandatory ‘stand down’ meeting, where camouflage policy was discussed and disciplinary actions reinforced. Secrecy has been a top priority on this project.
The blog post has a really good detailed approach on how to replace the ammeter with a voltmeter all whilst keeping the stock appearance.
Since I have owned the car and knew I would have to re-wire it I knew that the stock ammeter was not going to be a working option. My American Autowire Upgrade loom strongly recommended not to use it as well. The main reason they don’t recommend it is that the single wire alternator I now have is 100amps and not the tiny 48amp as stock. The amount of amps going to the ammeter would probably melt something and destroy my car via a fire. This leaves the options very limited to say the least, I could blank of the hole which would look rubbish, put a clock in there, better but not ideal or find somebody who has done some work to make a bespoke gauge very expensive I expect. I have investigated if anybody has done this before which of course they have with various results. They can look out-of-place being new with old, or only seem to work with the stock loom, again not an option for my upgrade wire loom. Many hours and thoughts have gone into looking about in old car accessory shops, online and eBay, and I think I have found a good alternative to the stock ammeter. I purchased the gauge from eBay in the end and it was shipped over from the far east which only took a couple of weeks to get here. My thoughts were along the lines of, it’s not a lot of money to wreck the meter if I have too and its worth a go. I gauge I found a VDO gauge that was plain black and white and the style of letting matched the stock gauge look. There is a wire from the back that will light up the meter via single white LED to only show up the gauge range at night so it wont flood the rest of dash. The only down side I could see was this was a big gauge depth wise due to the casing and the fulcrum of the gauge was at the bottom not the top as the other gauges.
This modification was going to require me to drill the back of the dash case. I made the decision this would be worth it. If you don’t want to drill your dash case back then this not for you! Obviously not concours but you will not see the drill marks from behind the dash, yeah I will get the anoraks saying “ooh, that’s not a genuine part is it?” My car is not going to be stuck in a garage cleaned and put away again, my car will be driven and enjoyed, that gauge will help me identify if there is a problem.
Tip: Before I started this little project I did check the gauge to make sure it worked. I crocodile clipped The terminals and touched the terminals. Which sprang the dial into life.
By their very nature, pre-production vehicles are born to die. They’re automotive ephemera — cars created to help validate assembly procedures and serve as test beds, before being sacrificed to the crusher.
Theirs are lives typically measured in months, and when it came to Ford’s genre-establishing Mustang, in the spring of 1964, approximately 180 pre-production pony cars were constructed. Not all were scrapped, however. At least fifteen are known to have slipped past the crusher, surviving to illustrate a number unique and distinctive differences compared with the regular production models that started rolling off the Dearborn assembly line in March 1964.
All of the pre-production models carried an arbitrary “05C” production date, for March 5, 1964. They weren’t all constructed that day, as each involved a slower process that included a number of hand-assembly methods. In fact, the known pre-production models that have been tracked and studied show many signs of hand-formed or hand-trimmed components. The cars have also demonstrated a number of variances in the chassis/suspension components, as well as the trim, which were changed by the start of regular production.
At a glance, the pre-production Mustangs wore gunmetal grey-painted grilles rather than the darker gunmetal blue grilles of the production models. Also: The running horse emblem in the grille had an eye on the pre-production models, but it disappeared for the cars made for paying customers. A handful of the early cars were even fitted with silver-painted engines that reportedly made it easier to spot leaks on test vehicles, compared to the production black-painted engines.
With only 15 pre-production Mustangs known across the globe, they’re exceedingly rare, but an Arizona collector not only has two of them, they carry consecutive VINs: 5F08F100139 and 5F08100140. They’re convertibles, and while one has a black top and the other a white one, they’re otherwise identically equipped, with F-code 260 V-8 engines, C-4 three-speed automatic transmissions, 1-code 3.00-geared rear axles and black vinyl interiors.
That collector has decided to part with these historic cars and they’re offered right now on Hemmings Auctions, where the pair is being sold as a lot. He notes a concours-level restoration was completed on car 0139 in 2019, and it earned multiple awards after that, while car 0140 was reportedly restored in 2009. It, too, has won a number of awards, including two Mustang Club of America Gold awards, and it has appeared in three magazines. A Web site outlining the restoration of 0139 can be found at pony139resto.com.
2011-2014 Ford Mustang S197: A History & Evolution
The Mustang has a special place in the heart of America’s car culture. We all have a Mustang story, and it usually goes like this: “My [insert family member or friend] had a Mustang, and [insert fun memory].” The Mustang can accommodate a four-person family on an unforgettable trip across the country, or it can be used to merely run errands. What kid doesn’t want to go to school in a Mustang?
America’s Blue-Collar Performance Car
Anecdotes are common because the Mustang’s price is within reach for most American buyers. As a result, millions of Mustangs are in American driveways. Mustang ownership is accessible to both the blue-collar employee and the boss.
The Mustang’s affordability makes it an unpretentious option for those who enjoy driving. From the moment the Mustang rolled into the 1964 World’s Fair, Ford marketed the Mustang as a youthful alternative to contemporary ho-hum transportation. That included promoting the Mustang’s sporty nature through aftermarket performance parts. From 1964 to today, Ford has offered performance upgrades so that owners can get the performance they desire along with the satisfaction of installing the parts themselves.
The 2011–2014 Mustang carries on this tradition as a competent, capable platform upon which enthusiasts can build the performance car of their dreams and make memories for themselves and their families.
Bucking the Trend
In the decade following World War II, American manufacturing switched from churning out fighting machines to churning out consumer products. Meanwhile, returning soldiers’ families churned out babies.
In 1960, an engineer-turned-marketing genius named Lee Iacocca sniffed a coming opportunity: the surge of babies that clogged maternity wards in the late 1940s and 1950s were primed to make their mark on the world, rebel against their conservative parents, and buy a car. Iacocca, forever the salesman, wanted to pounce.
Small product glimmers, such as GM’s Corvair, hinted that customers yearned for smaller high-performance cars, and Iacocca knew it. He wanted Ford to build a hip, sporty car that would capture the imagination of these new buyers—and loosen the grip on their wallets.
However, Iacocca had a problem: Robert McNamara. McNamara came to Ford as 1 of 10 financial Whiz Kids (veterans of the US Army Air Forces management science operation called Statistical Control) that Henry Ford II hired to run his grandfather’s company in 1946.
It didn’t take the Whiz Kids long to realize that statistical control didn’t square with performance. That is, unless performance was of the financial kind. In wartime and in business, McNamara’s specialty was minimizing risks. The development of an entirely new, youth-oriented product with a Zeppelin-sized marketing budget was the antithesis of McNamara’s business philosophy.
Getting McNamara to accept Iacocca’s plan would be impossible. That is, until a young man from Massachusetts named John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States and asked McNamara to be his Secretary of Defense in 1961. With McNamara out as Ford’s president, Iacocca was unleashed. Thirty-seven years old and full of ideas, Iacocca grabbed the controls of Ford Division and swung it into the 1960s. Once Henry Ford II (the Deuce) was on board, Ford Motor Company went from selling reliable appliances into the era of total performance. The linchpin of Ford’s Total Performance program was Iacocca’s new car: the Mustang.
The idea of the Mustang didn’t arrive like a bolt of lightning in the night. Instead, it was like a building storm—a brainstorm of ideas from a group that Iacocca convened during a weekly dinner at Dearborn’s Fairlane Inn. The Fairlane Committee commissioned a survey to determine what baby boomers wanted in a car. The committee learned that buyers overwhelmingly valued fun things (bucket seats and manual transmissions) over sensible things (expanded interior room and low operating costs).
The drafting rooms and prototype shops got busy. The two-seat Mustang I concept car was spawned, and it was subsequently scrapped because it didn’t have the mass appeal that Iacocca envisioned. Market trends pointed toward young buyers who were single and young families looking to add a second car. This meant that interiors that prioritized comfort for rear-seat passengers weren’t a priority. Then came the Mustang’s 2+2 concept, which wasn’t exactly a four-seater, but rather it was a two-seater with two smaller back seats.
Meanwhile, Iacocca knew that future customers were roaming high-school hallways and time was running out before these baby boomers began car shopping. Iacocca wanted them buying Mustangs. To accelerate development and lower cost, Ford engineers borrowed parts from the Fairlane and Falcon. A focus group of couples from varying tax brackets was chosen to gauge their reaction to the Mustang prototype. Everyone was impressed with the long-hood, short-deck design of the new pony car. The low retail price sealed the deal.
Such was the reaction of the general public when the Mustang officially debuted at the World’s Fair in New York on April 17, 1964. A highly coordinated promotional campaign ensured the success of the Mustang. Thirty million people saw the Mustang unveiled the night before when Ford bought the 9 p.m. time slot on all three major TV networks.
Over the next two days, four million people flooded dealerships to see thousands of Mustangs that were already staged in dealerships across the country. Perhaps the campaign worked too well. According to legend, one dealership was forced to lock its doors to control the mobs of people that were hoping to see the new Mustang. In Garland, Texas, one eager buyer slept in his Mustang while his check cleared to ensure that no one bought the car out from under him—literally.
It sometimes happens that an ordinary car becomes famous through extraordinary circumstances, like the Triumph Herald whose inadvertent parking spot on Abbey Road made it part of pop culture royalty. Perhaps infamous might be the more appropriate term for an otherwise unremarkable 1971 Ford Mustang Hardtop. It was one of more than 65,000 built; it just happened to have been sold new in Sweden.
The Ford, chassis 1TO1F100286 and license plate AMP 083, is known today as the Norrmalmstorgsdramat Mustang. It was to be the getaway car for Jan-Erik “Janne” Olsson and Clark Olofsson, Olsson being the man who, on August 23, 1973, held up the Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, and set off a five-day saga that involved four bank employee hostages and the demand for freedom of notorious criminal Olofsson, then in Swedish prison. This event, and the hostages’ ultimate reactions to the robber who held them captive, led to the coining of the psychological term, “Stockholm Syndrome.”
The history of this blue Mustang—factory-equipped with a 2-bbl.-carbureted 302-cu.in. V-8 and C4 SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic automatic—was quite interesting from the start, as it had diplomatic ties, having been purchased new by the Embassy of Brazil in Stockholm. From the fall of 1971 through the time of the siege, it belonged to Kenth Svensson, the on-duty policeman who was shot in the hand during the drama.
The car was parked in front of the bank with a full tank of fuel, as demanded by Olsson, but was never used; the hostage crisis was ended with no fatalities or criminal escape.Its five days of fame over, the Mustang faded into obscurity, being sold off and eventually heavily modified with the intent to turn it into a drag car. It was last registered in 1987, when it showed 46,600 kilometers, or 28,956 miles. Bilweb Auctions tells its history:
After the robbery, he used it as a utility vehicle for the family became too large and it was sold to Mats Fahlgren in Umeå. Mats drove the car until 1987 when he had to rebuild the car for drag racing (he then had no idea about the history). The car was emptied of interior, wheelhouses at the back were widened and rebuilt at the front. A roll bar and some reinforcements had time to be fitted before a reporter came to do a report on the car and the history was discovered for Mats. Then he decided to interrupt the construction and parked the car with parts in a dry lodge.
It stood there until 2019 when the current owner Fredrik Johansson in Trensum bought it and aimed to build it completely original. He has meanwhile collected a lot of parts and a donor car that is included in this auction. As the time is difficult for Fredrik who is self-employed, he chooses to sell this exciting object on to someone who wants to take over.
We love watching clips of personal car collections, barn finds, project car rescues and those that show personalities buying and flipping cars. Some of those most famous for doing so are Richard Rawlings, Dennis Collins and their friend, Trans Am guru, Dave Hall of Restore a Muscle Car.
Today, we ran across this latest video from Dennis Collins, who is most known for his expertise in vintage and modern Jeep vehicles, but naturally, is pretty well-versed in just about everything from classic muscle cars and modern exotic sports cars. Usually, Dennis focuses more on buying and flipping cars, or gives us a tour of whatever he currently has in his shop at the moment. But every now and then, he takes us on a trip to visit someone’s private car collection, and that’s just what he’s done here
A personal friend of his, Jeff Catlin, has been buying, selling, restoring and modifying Mustangs from the first-generation, to the more modern SN95 cars of the ’90s. He talks us through some of the cars he’s currently working on, tells us a bit about his background and gives us a closer look at some of the jewels in his collection.
What we see, is a legit Salon Fox Body from 1987, a super clean 6-shooter first get, a pair of mild pro-touring first-gens and a former Arizona state trooper Fox Body notch. There’s also a black Fox coupe with some large-diameter rollers on it, and a aftermarket chassis sitting inside Jeff’s shop, with some impressive hardware attached to it.
We could tell you more, but we’ll let Dennis’ video fill in all of the details.
Had the original Mustang not been dubbed a “pony car,” it could have just as easily been pegged as a sport compact. It was just a regular Ford economy car, the Falcon, slightly reconfigured for better proportions and handling. Still, it didn’t weigh much (well under 3,000 pounds, even for a convertible like this) and the 120-horsepower, 200-cu.in. six-cylinder moved a base-model convertible in a suitably sporty manner for the era. Eras change, however, and today the average driver is used to not only more responsiveness in a vehicle, but better braking, lower engine speed on the highway, and a whole host of other conveniences—even while the car drinks far less fuel than the 20-or-so miles per gallon boasted by the original “Thrift Power Six” engine, created for the 1960 Falcon.
By 1965, the original four-main, 90-hp, 144-cu.in. Falcon six had matured into a seven-main engine of considerable durability and adequate economy. Sticking with a manual transmission, as this car was originally equipped, did a lot to improve the driving experience. A floor-shift three-speed was standard equipment in a Mustang, with a Dagenham four-speed borrowed from Ford of England as an option for drivers of a sportier bent.
In regard to engine sizes, the 2.3-liter designation has been around a long time now for Ford. It could have described the original 144-cu.in. Falcon six, but it has mostly referred to four-cylinders. At present, Dearborn’s 2.3-liter is a direct injection, turbocharged four-cylinder that is part of a Ford Motor Company program to replace cylinders and displacement with extremely precise air and fuel management. When paired with a six-speed manual, it is the modern Mustang’s equivalent of this car’s base powertrain setup.
This engine appealed to Paul Cuff, our feature car’s owner. Paul, of Angel’s Camp, California, is the owner of America Road Trips, which offers collectible car rentals and road trip planning services, like itineraries for cruising Route 66. Or, for instance, if you’ve ever dreamed about driving an old convertible along California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Paul can help you out including renting you the smartly restomodded 2.3-liter EcoBoost-powered Mustang featured here.
“The concept for America Road Trips rentals spawned out of a Route 66 road trip in April of 2019,” Paul says. “That trip consisted of late model Mustangs, Shelbys, and an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. In mid-2019, the process of searching for the “prototype” vehicle began in earnest. I wanted to take a vintage first-generation Mustang and incorporate virtually all the features that made our 2019 Route 66 road trip seamless and problem-free.
“That trip through the Desert Southwest in springtime had actually started out with plans to drive vintage cars, “but the desire for air conditioning and a late model drivetrain won out,” Paul relates. So, what if there was some way to merge the two? To that end, he sought out the assistance of the Grotto brothers, Mike and Dave, retired law-enforcement officers and builders of an award-winning Pro Street 1966 Mustang fastback known as Toxic 66.
Paul wanted people to have a worry-free experience driving his ’65, which he purchased as a non-running but cosmetically restored car in Colorado.
Welcome to Coffee Walk Ep. 180! There’s no better way to kick off a new year than with an OUTSTANDING 1967 Mustang GT350 Shelby! The only catch is, we don’t know the full history of it! We need your help finding out how this Shelby got here! Please email any information or video to Social@CBJeep.com
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